Listen to music between two worlds on this New Sounds program, namely works with elements of classical music-be it orchestra, choral, or chamber music- which also embrace elements of pop, rock and electronic music. Hear the latest from Son Lux (Ryan Lott), who builds lush orchestral sounding pop music, working with contemporary classical musicians like yMusic to create dramatic and catchy slices of music designed to make classification a challenge. Also, listen to music from Icelandic keyboard player / composer Olafur Arnalds along with something from the Baltimore-based electronic wizard, Dan Deacon. That, and more.
For this New Sounds program, listen to “Mixed Music” – a term coined by musician/composer Joseph C. Phillips Jr. -which is a blend of jazz improvisation and groove-based minimalism or other forms of composed music. There’s brand-new music from the Brooklyn-based Peter Kerlin Octet, an outfit consisting of two vibraphonists, two bassists, an organist, a drummer, a percussionist, and a violist. On his record, “Salamander,” bass player/composer Kerlin offers up ambitious bass-driven compositions that weave through post-rock and minimalist territory, with improvisational jazz-like detours along the way.
For this program, listen to a whole bevy of world music, from August 2013. There's music from Madagascar, Ethiopia, Poland, and India, to name a few. Listen to Malagasy blues from Lala Njava, somkething from Mulatu Astatke's latest featuring Fatoumata Diawara, and Polish folk music singers accompanying themselves with kitchen instruments. There's also a selection from the "Red Hot & Fela" compilation as done by members of TV on the Radio, Kronos Quartet, and Stuart Bogie, the musical director of the broadway show, "Fela!" And more.
Hear an hour of global jazz on this New Sounds program, with unlikely combinations of instruments and worldwide influences colliding in unexpected and striking ways. Listen to pianist and composer Vijay Iyer's "Playlist For An Extreme Occasion," an eight-part work written for Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble. It began as a musical interaction between sheng, tabla, and gaita, which evolved into an intricate suite for piano, gaita, percussion, tabla, sheng, violin, viola and cello. (Vijay Iyer is also the recipient of the 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, the so-called "genius" grant.)
Hear new music from Uri Sharlin & the DogCat Ensemble on this New Sounds program. It’s a mixed breed (groan) group featuring guitar, accordion, and percussion trio that infuses Israel and Brazil into New York. Its members collectively have pedigrees from traditional Irish music, the Klezmer scene and orchestral music as well. Perhaps also hear music from Tribecastan and/or the Montreal-based chamber jazzers Esmerine, who most recently collaborated with Turkish musicians. Plus, a few other like-minded hybrid ensembles and more.
For this New Sounds, hear a hypnotic work of vocal layers from the electronic duo Matmos, “Just Waves,” from their Ganzfeld EP, a concept record based on their own telepathic experiments. Throughout the progression of the work, these ebbing and flowing voices -Matmos (M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel) together with three other singers: Dan Deacon, Angel Deradoorian (Dirty Projectors), and Clodagh Simonds (Fovea Hex)- speak-sing the transcripts of the psychic session material in pitched clusters, until the sensations described in the experiment are shaped back into one single phrase about the “triangle at the top.”
John Schaefer sorts through the stacks of new CDs, the Soundcloud files, and other digital submissions which have come across his desk and into his inbox to present some of the finest new releases for the month of June 2013. Hear music from Dawn of Midi, who make groove music that sounds as though it is electronica, but it's made acoustically. Then, listen to the Mobius Trio, who make new guitar ensemble music, along with multi-layered 6-string magic from Ben Brody.
Since the 1990’s, Zorn has written over 500 songs inspired by traditional Jewish music. This Masada collection, as it’s known, is divided into two books, both using Jewish scales as a springboard for improvisation. He performed the first 200 songs of Book One with the rotating members of the Masada ensemble for a decade. Then, in late 2004, he wrote 316 new pieces in the form, in just three months. He refers to this second part of Masada as “The Book of Angels,” with each piece given the name of a Biblical angel. Rather then gearing this project towards a particular band as the first Masada songbook did, Zorn instead decided this time around to invite many different collaborators to have at the book, folks as wide-ranging as Joe Lovano to Medeski, Martin & Wood, Basya Schechter to Cyro Baptista, and Pat Metheny to Marc Ribot.
Hear fingerstyle guitar music with a wash of drones - "Psychedelic Appalachia"- from steel string shredder Daniel Bachman, whose latest effort is the full-length “Seven Pines.” His playing has evoked the names of both John Fahey and Robbie Basho, in both the technicality and the emotional depth. However, it’s actually the late fingerstylist Jack Rose to whom he has been most often compared in that Bachman also relocated from Fredericksburg, VA to Philadelphia and the American Primitive guitar spirit runs strong in him.
Listen to some music by bass players on this New Sounds. Hear the orchestral double bass, as represented by German bass player Eberhard Weber, along with the electric bass guitar, represented by the Swedish bass guitarist Jonas Hellborg. There's also music by California bass player Michael Manring, whose signature instrument, the hyperbass, he helped to develop and is designed for limitless altered tunings. Plus, music from bassist/composer and jazzer/rocker Ben Allison (also composer of NPR’s On the Media theme) - his tune "Slap Happy" from the record "Peace Pipe," and more.
Special thanks to our New Sounds Summer Intern, Ross Harriss, for helping to make this podcast possible.
Watch out for more music for the duduk (a reed instrument indigenous to Armenia) than you can shake a stick at! We'll hear from the Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble, along with music from Andrew Cronshaw's latest cross-cultural collaboration (Armenian & British), "The Unbroken Surface of Snow," at times an unlikely combination of zither and duduk.
For this New Sounds show, listen to post-minimalist works that are somewhat keyboard-centric. Hear brand new music by Daniel Wohl, from the musicians of TRANSIT, and featuring vocals by Julia Holter. There’s also music from French composer Sylvain Chaveau, from a collection of works for cinema. Plus, the Irish composer Simon O’Connor reworks J.S. Bach for the Ergodos Musicians, and listen to a multi-part work by Nico Muhly from his “Drones” release.
Special thanks to our New Sounds Spring Intern, Caroline, for her help in securing these permissions. Extra thanks to New Sounds Summer Intern Ross Harriss, for doing the heavy lifting of the editing.
For this New Sounds, enjoy an hour of works for brass, from the 19 piece French band Bigre! and sample some of the just-out release, “Brooklyn Babylon” from Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, (only 17 pieces strong.) There’s also music from Benin in western Africa, along with music from Macedonia, Manhattan and even Albania. The Albanian outfit Fanfara Tirana meets London’s Trans-Global Underground on their fabulous record, “Kabatronics,” and for more brass band power, there’s the Kocani Orkestar from Macedonia. Plus, listen to Benin’s classic funk heroes, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo.
Special thanks to our New Sounds Spring Intern, Caroline, for her help in securing these permissions.
Unlikely combinations of cultures and traditional musics give a global perspective on this New Sounds program. Listen to a musical portrayal of an imaginary Syria, "Syriana." It's a London-based ensemble with musicians from Syria and parts of the Near East, featuring the Pan-Arab Strings of Damascus. There's also music by sax player Uri Gurvich from his forthcoming record, “BabEl,” a mixture of oud and North African percussion with some saxophone, piano, bass and drums.
For this New Sounds Special Podcast*, listen to a few groove-based pieces for piano and electronics, including brand-new music from Jace Clayton (aka DJ Rupture) which looks back to an outsider figure of “Downtown” Manhattan scene in the 1980’s – Julius Eastman, the late gay African American composer, pianist, vocalist, and dancer. Eastman’s work forms the basis of Clayton’s album; two long works – one involving the “n” word, and “Gay Guerilla.” Hear the conclusion of “Gay Guerrilla” arranged for two pianos and electronics, along with the latest from Brandt Bauer Frick, and 11-musician strong Berlin-based ensemble who reproduce rhythms and sounds of electronic dance music (EDM) mostly acoustically.
For this New Sounds, composer and founder of the new music group Newspeak, David T. Little, joins John Schaefer to present selections from his hour-long multimedia one-man opera, “Soldier Songs.” The work is in three acts, which explore the perceptions of war throughout the character’s life; Youth – where war is a game, Warrior - where war is reality, and Elder - which is more of a philosophical approach to war. Games are at the heart of the work, as evidenced by the accompanying visuals - realistic-looking video game imagery by an animator.
For this New Sounds, John Schaefer sifts through the avalanche of CDs (and digital offerings) piled up in his office to find a sampling of new releases worthy of showcasing in tonight's New Sounds program. Also, he'll look back at some of the things that came out during 2012 that might have gone unnoticed on the chaos that is his desk, and ahead to some of the things that 2013 holds. Listen to inventive voice-based music from Holly Herndon, some hypnotic plucked strings from Ljova, and some Zimbabwean music by way of Scandinavia in a collaborative project called Monoswezi.
For this New Sounds, listen to some abstract soundscapes from Poland, from Berlin via an Icelandic composer, and from Brooklyn-based musicians as well. Hear a soundscape from the Berlin-based Icelandic one-woman band Kira Kira, from her record Feathermagnetik. Also, listen to something from Brooklyn-based electronic artist Laurel Halo, featuring the voice as instrument. Then, there's a percussion-centric work, "6," one of the number pieces from John Cage (whose 2012 centennial celebrations are still going on), and a percussive soundscape by another Brooklyn-based musician, drummer/composer Tim Kuhl.
Listen to “Cello Multitracks” on this New Sounds program. It’s Gabriel Prokofiev's four-part suite scored for nine cellos, as realized by the technologically skilled cellist Peter Gregson, (yep, on all nine parts.) The work is sometimes jarring, sometimes it grooves, then it will like as not scuttle like dust bunnies, whether plucked or scraped.
Hear the Ghanaian-rooted Afrofunk band KonKoma, (now based in the U.K.), along with recent releases and/or reissues of music from South, East, and West Africa. Sample selections from Zambian miners and minstrels, music from street musicians in Malawi, and some gorgeous acoustic Afropop from Mali.